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UK Construction industry earnings on EU investments tumble since Brexit vote

– The UK construction sector has seen earnings on its investments in the EU fall off a cliff since the Brexit vote with profits plummeting 95%, analysis of the latest ONS data has revealed. 

UK construction companies’ earnings on its EU investment positions went from £24million in 2015 to a measly £4million in 2018 – down 83%. The drop is even larger when compared with the sector’s £77million earnings in 2016.

Construction firms had £638million invested in the EU in 2015, the year before the Brexit referendum, while this was reduced to £552million three years on, according to analysis of the latest statistics1 by R&D tax relief specialist Catax.

Over the same period, EU inward investment remained broadly level, going from £4.4billion in 2015, to £4.9billion in 2017, the last year for which figures are available.

The construction industry has fared badly compared with some other sectors. 

The UK mining sector has halved its overall investments in the EU since the Brexit vote – falling from £34.4billion in 2015 to £16billion in 2018 – but earnings have rocketed by more than £2billion in that time. They rose from negative £91million in 2015 to positive £2.1billion in 2018.

Mark Tighe – chief executive of R&D tax relief specialists Catax

Mark Tighe, chief executive of R&D tax relief specialists Catax, said:

“For the past few years we’ve heard horror stories about what would happen to the UK following the vote to leave the EU.

“The construction industry has seen investment positions hold firm on both sides of the Channel, despite earnings taking a tumble.

“But UK firms still have huge amounts invested in the EU, and vice versa, showing that both sides see the relationship continuing.”